There has been some discussion recently of the future format of the British Combinatorial Bulletin (BCB) (available at http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~dbpenman/BCB/) and more specifically about the List C of publications in it. The issue is that over the last few years it has increasingly been the case that much (though not all) of the information provided in List C can be found elsewhere, e.g. on the personal webpages of the authors or the arXiv or on a journal’s homepage, which gives rise to a question as to how useful the list C is. A number of different views were expressed in a preliminary discussion of the point at the committee meeting held in London in mid-May, which included for example one view that List C still provides a worthwhile overall perspective on the papers published over the last year which is not available from other sources, and another view that the extent to which such information can be compiled from other sources suggests that having List C in its current form is not a particularly worthwhile use of resources. Many other views may also be possible.
The British Combinatorial Committee is committed by its constitution to trying to act on a consensual basis. As such, we would value your feedback on the following questions. You should also feel free to pass the link to this page to other interested parties, though of course no person should contribute more than once – see below for how to express your views. Decisions will be taken by the Business Meeting of the British Combinatorial Conference at Warwick, which is due to take place on Tuesday 7 July. We want to emphasise that no decisions have been made and that all options are genuinely on the table.
Question 1. Do you think it is worthwhile to continue to have a List C in the British Combinatorial Bulletin?
The following question is only relevant to those who voted “No” in Question 1. If we were to stop having a List C, it would still be desirable to provide access to research outputs as far as possible. Some possible ways this could be done include: links through to people’s papers on arXiv (if available there), to a personal homepage (where it exists), to an Institutional Repository of publications, to some kind of list on (for example) Google Scholar or DBLP of the individual’s publications, etc. etc. For an example of a link through to a person’s arXiv publications, see here. A further possibility would be to give a link for each individual (probably from the List A) through to whichever of the above list of repositories etc. is preferred by each individual.
Members may wish to be reminded at this point that it will be obligatory, in any post-2014 REF, for preprints of the accepted versions of any papers submitted to have been posted in a public repository within three months of acceptance by the journal.
Question 2. If we were to move away from having a List C, which option about how to gain access to people’s publications would you prefer?
The following question is for all readers:
Question 3. Do you have any further comments to make about the future development of the Bulletin? If so, please express them as concisely as possible.
To express your views on these questions, please reply to email@example.com by 17.00 on Tuesday 30 June 2015 so that I have time to collate the responses prior to the meeting at Warwick. Please include the words “BCB Consultation” in your reply. You should be aware that there will also be a discussion of this topic on the BCC’s new website https://britishcombinatorial.wordpress.com/ where you can read comments of others on the consultation.
Yours etc …